Saturday, October 9, 2010

Embarrassing musical choices

I am generally not the best when it comes to choosing music. For the most part, I don't really care if others hate the music I listen to - in fact, the more it's loved, or well known, I somehow am more attracted to it. Perhaps its the underdog syndrome. But whatever.
The point is, I was on YouTube (and seriously, YouTube just whittles away hours of my life. I started watching Glee videos and ended up on, dare I say it, Backstreet Boys). It was quite a lot of fun, really. I was revisiting the bands of my youth. The usual suspects - Backstreet Boys, as mentioned above, though I wasn't a real fan; Britney Spears, whom I also wasn't a fan of; Spice Girls, also not a fan; AQUA, unashamedly a fan, though of their lesser known hits; and Lou Bega, until I hit 10 and realised how sexist the man's lyrics are - were on my list, and then I came across a band whom I loved for probably at least a year. For all of my emo phase, anyway.
That band was Simple Plan.
Yeah. This is Simple Plan.
I had this picture on my wall.
I used to try hugging it.
And you thought I was weird now.
Now I know, I know. Simple Plan had a heyday. They had sell-out concerts, they had a couple of number one hits, and for the emo-girl like me - dressed entirely in black, dyed black hair, wearing Converses and scowling at the world whilst thinking No One Understands Me - Simple Plan was it. I didn't understand the arguments people thrust at me. "But," I remember one person saying, "they're Canadian."
I didn't care. I loved Canada for this reason. I learned flipping FRENCH for this reason. (Though my other choice was Indonesian; it was an easy pick.) And so, I bought all of Simple Plan's albums (see: 2) and listened to them, carrying an archaic Discman around through Sydney (before iPods, kids) and blasting such dulcet tunes as Welcome To My Life into my 13-year-old eardrums.
With regret, there often comes that feeling of "Surely I wasn't that obsessed, right?"
Oh yes. Oh yes I was. You can ask anyone who knew me during this dark period in my life and they will attest to the fact that I was obsessed like my Nana is obsessed with finding me a husband, or like my parents are obsessed with me marrying this guy we all know. I carried around books with Simple Plan plastered on the covers, I wept when I was forbidden from going to their Brisbane concert, and I wrote fan-fics surrounding my exciting adventures were I to suddenly develop a reasonable musical talent and meet the band.
In Canada.
And I - at least, my 18 year old hindsight and poorly-stored memories attest to this fact - honestly believed that I was going to marry Pierre Bouvier:
Yeah. This guy.
Meanwhile, my best friend at the time was going to marry David Desrosiers:

Anyway, I'm cringing in shame at this time in my life, and one day I'm going to find an emo photo of myself and post it here so you all can understand my shame.
The point is, this band was responsible for a very shameful time in my life, and I'm pretty sure they are the only band I am fully embarrassed about liking. I still listen to the Used (though very infrequently; they're a little bit... insane), to Blink 182 (wins), to most of the bands I adored at this time. Except Simple Plan. My brother and I went on a rampage when I realised my failing and snapped my two albums, one single, in 4 neat pieces.

If there's a moral to this tale, inform me of it. Don't like bands when you're in a very impressionable emo phase is the only one I'm getting.
Or perhaps, it's if I must regret liking a band, Simple Plan seems a pretty apt choice to regret.

Interesting side note - in my Googling of Lou Bega, I found out something epic and rad. His name isn't actually, Lou Bega. In fact, Wikipedia has this to say:
David Lubega (born April 13, 1975), also known as Lou Bega, is a German musician of Italianand Ugandan descent, and is famous for his song "Mambo No. 5". This song is a remake of the Perez Prado instrumental from 1949. Bega added his own words to the song and sampled the original version extensively.
I now want Lubega as my surname.

...and oh dear, I'm listening to Perfect. Curse you, YouTube automatic shuffle! I USE THAT FOR ALEX DAY! Why are you on a roof, Pierre and co? Why are you on a roof? That's very dangerous!
(A clear indication I am getting old before my time, for when I was younger, I only thought, "Oh my gosh! They are so rebellious and so brave! They are so cute with their nose piercings and pop-punk uniforms!")
Also, I wish my parents let me draw on my walls. My room would've looked awesome. I wouldn't have emo-ishly written, I'm Sorry I Can't Be Perfect on my wall... actually, scratch that, I may have done.
And Addicted. You'd think I'd turn this shuffle off, wouldn't you? But I now have to watch these. It's like a curse I'm under. Actually, 13-year-old-me, maybe you'll be able to tell me - why the heck did you wear sweatbands/cuffs with studs? And horribly baggy pants? I wonder what you'd think of my fashion tastes now. Also, 13-year-old-me, the original doesn't say "I'd run a thousand miles to get you", but... yeah, you know, okay. I'm horrified I still know the lyrics.
Now it's Shut Up. Far out, this brings back memories. Year 8, when I thought I knew all about life. A heinous lie. I also unwillingly started singing along (keep that on the low-down). This video is so lame, it's kinda cute.
...what's happening?
I am now quietly urging Sebastien Lefebvre's Myspace page to load his cover of Ke$ha's Tik Tok (those three words hurt to spell). I like his voice, I'll say that. I just think my ears are bleeding from the song itself.

Well, there we go. I finally closed YouTube, the Myspaces, and even the Twitter-stalks I ended up doing.

Perhaps it's not regret.
But that's there's a whole lot of memories that music contains, shameful yet colourfully so.
After all, to quote The Cat Empire - music is the language of us all. And for me, language is more important than most things, a grasp on words, and if my words contain my thoughts, my desires, and my past, my musical choices do too.
But no, Simple Plan, I'm not joining the fan club again. Nor the mailing list. My email address back then (fairly sure it was something like, or possibly I think I even had one named after Branden Steineckert of The Used and now Rancid fame, because I thought he was sooo hot with his piercing on the bridge of his nose) has vanished into the wild, and your incessant emails to it as well.

Have a lovely Sunday, readers, whatever you get up to.
(There's a reason I've not provided links to videos or anything. I'm not wishing my emo-year-8-ness on you.)

Does anyone remember Lee Harding, finalist on Australian Idol?
Pretty sure he came third.
I just looked over at my digital clock, and there's a sticker of him on it. I also have a letter, a photo, and a tee. I also recall talking to him on the phone, dead tired and also hugely embarrassed. Oh wow, I have an awesome family. They engineered that, because they win. Even if now, I don't listen to Lee and he's probably designing comics again, it's lovely to think that a quasi-Nana went to an Australian Idol show to get Lee on the phone for me, her emo quasi-granddaughter.
Go Chileans!
That, right there, is another memory box. It also includes shame, but heaps of happiness at the same time.
And in the years after Idol, he hugely changed. Far out, he started... well, this video shows the difference. And this:
...what happened to the Lee of old?!
The music from that band (Rock City) is pretty good, actually. I'm not going to shun it.
EVEN LATER NOTE: Okay, I'll admit it. I went on to YouTube today and watched Shut Up. Don't spear me!

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